Cold, cold nights; cold crisp & sunny days. A bit of snow. Lots of lovely walks.
Wedding anniversary. Marmalade.
Green shoots, flowers and birds.
New camera 🙂
On Tuesday morning we drove to Ewyas Harold to sort out forms at the GP Surgery, so I took the opportunity to walk home: Ewyas Harold – Dulas – Old Trout Inn + Ford – Mill Lane (steep road) – Tremorithic Road – Cwm Hill – Abbey Dore.
I followed deer trails across The Parks Nature Reserve and muddy footpaths across the sheep fields between the top of the steep road up from the ford to Tremorithic Road.
But a bit muddy….
Finished clearing the stile into Thistly Field before work called….
Work has started to feel a bit more normal after the Christmas/New Year break. A pattern is emerging that on Wednesdays our internet is really ropey – Zoom calls have been (almost) too laggy to work. Still, it was good enough for VWW. No problem at all on Thursdays, and Family Zoom in the evening.
Friday was Rachel’s funeral back in Solihull. A beautiful sunny day, and small gathering of 15. It was good to see Rachel’s mum. We all managed to do our readings, mine with a small wobble half way through.
It was only once I’d got home that I realised quite how exhausted I was.
Sleet started towards the end of Friday afternoon, but we woke on Saturday to a cold, crisp, sunny morning.
Phil and I walked over Canns Hill fields, gingerly along the icy roads through Abbey Dore and to Ewyas Harold via the Cwm Hill deer farm and the Common.
Indulged in some sticky buns from the village shop for lunch – jam doughnut for me, Belgian bun for Phil – then back over the Common, dropping down to the Abbey (and Tan House Farm’s intriguing new pod) and home along the road, most of the ice having been melted by the sun. 10.58km, 209m height gain, 2 h 26 mins active movement, according to Phil’s tracker.
And, as you can see, I took my new camera for a spin.
An anniversary present from dad and Jean was waiting on our doorstep when we got home – a bowl of hyacinth bulbs, plus a bulb of garlic and a red chilli (family joke), plus one of Jean’s lovely embroidered cards.
After a late lunch I spent an hour trying to get the bonfire to light – no joy. Too damp and cold I suspect. May need to resort to dad’s tip of a good splash of petrol!
Another light fall of snow overnight made for a very quiet morning on Sunday. Lovely. The buzzard was back by the outdoor train set, where the yew tree means the ground was clear of snow.
The snow was shortlived, disappearing fast once the sun broke through the clouds and it was almost all gone by 10am when I started a lovely 2 hour FaceTime with Alison in her new place in Suffolk. During our catch up, I was slightly surprised when a fox sauntered past the lounge window …. it walked the length of the front lawn and disappeared between the wild plum trees and the large pond.
Having tracked down Seville marmalade oranges in Morrisons, I had bought 2 boxes which was transformed into 17 jars of Mary’s Marmalade, using the Denton Family Recipe. Double quantities made for a bit of a marathon, but I do like my morning toast and marmalade…
We celebrated our wedding anniversary with veggie toad in the hole with loads of roast veg for a late lunch / early dinner, with one of the nice bottles of wine from the “cellar”.
Another gorgeous sunny day on Monday, so made the most of the sunshine and did a walk morning and afternoon. Thistly Field – The Ark – Wellfield with Phil, then down to Abbey Dore, footpath to Riverdale and back via Kerrys Gate in the morning, then back to Kerrys Gate, over to Cockyard and back again via Quarrels Green in the afternoon. My morning route was very sociable, featuring chats with Ray, Thea and a lovely “mature” gent from EH Common doing his version of the Bacton – Tremorithic loop.
Took lots of photos with my new camera on both walks, plus some of the snowdrops and the daffodil shoots which are growing fast.
Even though it’s been very cold (-7C overnight on Sunday/Monday), there’s definitely a sense that spring is on its way: flowers are coming up, birds are starting to sing a bit more, and there is still light in the sky at 5 pm.
Zoomed with Helen and Hazel to talk through St Andrews Ladies Weekend plans as it’s highly unlikely we’ll be able to have our long weekend for 8 in May. So, looks like we’re rescheduling to 2022 …..
And one final Monday highlight – we booked in Morgan and Cuss to do the boiler / tank in February and the bathroom / showers in April!
TV: Watched all of The Newsroom, series 2 and started series 3, wrapped up the second series of Staged. Denied our Friday night treats – Grand Designs and This Farming Life – due to a combination of bad internet and no new episode of This Farming Life, we watched two episodes from Matthew Sweet’s history of film instead.
In personal telly-time, I really enjoyed Samira Ahmed’s Art of Persia. My 2007 trip to Iran remains one of the best. So much history, so much beautiful architecture and art, and lovely, lovely people. At times I felt like I was living in 1001 Nights.
Podcasts: The History of England and The Essay.
Photos: Herefordshire week 56 on Flickr.
Phil: Weeknotes for w/e 2021-01-24.